FIFA Women's World Rankings
|Top 20 rankings as of 7 December 2018|
|*Change from 28 September 2018|
|Complete rankings at FIFA.com|
The FIFA Women's World Rankings for football were introduced in 2003, with the first rankings published in March of that year, as a follow-on to the existing FIFA World Rankings for men. They attempt to compare the strength of internationally active women's national teams at any given time.
Specifics of the ranking system
- FIFA Women's World Rankings are based on every international match a team ever played, dating back to 1971, the first FIFA-recognized women's international between France and the Netherlands.
- FIFA Women's World Rankings are implicitly weighted to emphasize recent results.
- FIFA Women's World Rankings are only published four times a year. Normally, rankings are released in March, June, September and December. (In World Cup years, dates may be adjusted to reflect the World Cup results.)
The first two points result from the FIFA Women's World Rankings system being based on the Elo rating system adjusted for football; in 2018, FIFA modified the men's ranking system to similarly be based on Elo systems after continued criticism. FIFA considers the ratings for teams with fewer than 5 matches provisional and at the end of the list. Also any team that plays no matches for 18 months becomes unranked.
World Ranking leaders
To date Germany and the United States have been the only two teams to have led the rankings. They have also held the top two spots in all but five releases, when Germany was ranked third: Norway was in second position in the first two rankings until Germany overtook them by winning the 2003 FIFA Women's World Cup, Brazil was ranked second in March and June 2009 until Germany won 2009 Euro and rejoined the top two, and England reached the #2 ranking in March 2018.
The United States holds the record for the longest period being ranked first: almost 7 years, from March 2008 to December 2014.
In the latest rankings, action from Women's World Cup qualifying tournaments in UEFA and CONCACAF, as well as the 2018 Tournament of Nations, caused movement throughout the rankings, though three of the top five did not change. The United States (#1), Germany (#2), and Canada (#5) retained their positions while England (#3) and France (#4) swapped. Australia rose to #6 on a 33-point gain, the largest gain among any of the top 50 teams, though Uganda earned the most points of any team with 44.
The rankings are based on the following formulae:
|= The team rating after the match|
|= The team rating before the match|
|= , the weighted importance of the match|
|= The actual result of the match, see below|
|= The expected result of the match|
|= The scaled difference in rating points between the teams|
|= The opposing team's rating before the match|
|= The "home advantage" correction, see below|
|= A scaling factor, see below|
|= The "Match Importance Factor", see below|
The average points of all teams are about 1300 points. The top nations usually exceed 2000 points. In order to be ranked, a team must have played at least 5 matches against officially ranked teams, and have not been inactive for more than 18 months. Even if teams are not officially ranked, their points rating is kept constant until they play their next match.
Actual result of the match
The main component of the actual result is whether the team wins, loses, or draws, but goal difference is also taken into account.
If the match results in a winner and loser, the loser is awarded a percentage given by the accompanying table, with the result always less than or equal to 20% (for goal differences greater than zero). The result is based on the goal difference and the number of goals they scored. The remaining percentage points are awarded to the winner. For example, a 2–1 match has the result awarded 84%–16% respectively, a 4–3 match has the result awarded 82%–18%, and an 8–3 match has the result awarded 96.2%–3.8%. As such, it is possible for a team to lose points even if they win a match, assuming they did not "win by enough".
If the match ends in a draw the teams are awarded the same result, but the number depends on the goals scored so the results will not necessarily add up to 100%. For example, a 0–0 draws earns both teams 47% each, a 1–1 draw earns 50% each, and a 4–4 draw earns 52.5% each.
Actual result table
The following is from a non-winning perspective (loss or draw). The factor for the winning team adds up to 100.
by non winning team
|Actual result (percentage)|
And from a winning perspective.
by losing team
|Actual result (percentage)|
Neutral ground or Home vs. Away
Historically, home teams earn 66% of the points available to them, with away teams earning the other 34%. To account for this, when two teams are not playing on neutral ground, the home team has its inflated by 100 points for the purposes of calculation. That is, if two equally ranked teams playing at one team's home ground, the home team would be expected to win at the same rate a team playing on neutral ground with a 100-point advantage. This 100 point difference corresponds to a 64%–36% advantage in terms of expected result.
This also helps define the scaling constant , which has a value of 200. In addition to a 100-point difference causing an expected result difference of 64%–36%, it also results in a 300-point difference causing expected results of 85%–15%.
Importance of the match
|Match importance||Match importance
|FIFA Women's World Cup match||4||60|
|Women's Olympic football tournament||4||60|
|FIFA Women's World Cup qualifier||3||45|
|Women's Olympic football qualifier||3||45|
|Women's Continental finals match||3||45|
|Women's Continental qualifier||2||30|
|Women's friendly match between two Top 10 teams||2||30|
|Women's friendly match||1||15|
Rankings are published four times a year, usually on a Friday.
|2018 Rankings schedule|
- Elo football rating
- FIFA Men's World Rankings
- Statistical association football predictions
- Geography of women's association football
- "The FIFA/Coca-Cola Women's World Ranking". FIFA. 7 December 2018. Retrieved 7 December 2018.
- "Fact Sheet, FIFA Women's World Ranking" (PDF). Retrieved 2015-06-08.
- FIFA.com (28 September 2018). "Matildas on the march as USA stay top". fifa.com.
- "Women's Ranking Procedure". FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking. FIFA. Retrieved 11 January 2018.